Faith coming by hearing and sent preacher gift from God

“Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)

The Apostle Paul in this verse tells us that no one can believe unless they hear. In the same context, he also says that no one can hear unless “a preacher” is “sent.” (vss. 14,15) Thus, without question the “sent preacher” is a gift from Yahweh, the Author of Salvation.

Faith can be considered a gift from Yahweh.

“We have knowledge of Yahweh, and this knowledge, which is granted us as a grace or favor, brings us to the place where we are enabled to exercise faith.”

Faith in a great measure rests upon knowledge. Knowledge reveals Yahweh’s character as our Great Savior, the Divine Revelation makes known to us certain facts respecting Yahweh’s purposes, and we see the purposes thus outlined to be in harmony with the character of Yahweh.

This enables one to believe the promises; and believing them, we are enabled to act upon them.

“This is faith. Our faith, while it is of ourselves in the sense that we must exercise it, is of Yahweh in the sense that He supplies the necessary elements from which that faith is to be compounded.”— What Pastor Russell Said, pp. 266,267

Everything received now, and which the world of humanity will receive in the next age, soon to come, is because of Yahweh’s Grace. Yahweh has given us opportunities to hear about Him through His Word and through those who have explained that Word to us.

And without our Redeemer Jesus, who is Yahweh’s appointed Representative, who Yahweh sent to us to show us the way to Him.

Thus, through Jesus Christ our Head we learn the Almighty Heavenly Father’s Character and come to know the true Savior.

Jesus always pointed us to his God and our God, his Father and our Father. Jesus did the will of Yahweh and willing because he loved his Almighty Creator and died to pay the price required as his part of salvation and we love him for his great sacrifice for our behalf, and not only ours, but the whole world of humanity.

Jesus covers us with his Sin Offering merit and without it, we would never be able to grow in the Grace our Heavenly Father so much wants us to have.

May we never lose our faith. It is faith that made us acceptable to Yahweh, and it is faith that insures our ultimate salvation.

“The just shall live by faith: but if any draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.”

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.”

“This is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith!”
(Heb. 10:38,39; 1 Tim. 6:12;
1 John 5:4)

John Harris (the Word of God is more precious than gold) HeChar

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Additional reading

  1. Faith
  2. Faith and works
  3. Faith moving mountains

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Further reading

  1. The Sin Offering
  2. All That Jesus Is Before God, You Are
  3. Numbers 7
  4. Leviticus 9
  5. SOAP Journal – 02 February 2017 (Leviticus 4:16-18)
  6. 20 February 2017 Bible Reading
  7. Atonement as Liturgy: The Cross Re-examined
  8. Catrina’s Understanding of Leviticus 1-13

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How do you define religion?

Without spirituality, the preparedness to use the mind to wonder and to form ideas, religiosity can not come to existence, but with all sorts of rites and repeated actions to bring an outer sign of a faith in something religion may find seed and fertilisation in the aim to belong to something or somewhat.

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Today people may find themselves living in a world full of gadgets which promise them a lovely world to live in. They become more embedded in a wider world, full of tempting distraction from the real valuable things. Loosing all interest in the spiritual  our world we live in has become more secularized.

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As social welfare and general empathy increase, religiosity will also decline. Several people consider religion the opium of the people which will no longer be needed when they can get that “fix” from their government and community providing them with free health care, maternity and paternity leave, and help when they’re old or ill. Though we should know that only god’s foreseen Government shall bring the most complete and successful Kingdom.

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When a person uses his mind to think and is prepared to do spiritual exercise, opening his mind to the creation, he probably shall come closer to the Person or Spirit behind that Creation. Then the open minded person shall be able to find the Divine CreatorOnly One True God. With the knowledge gather the spiritual person shall come to understand he not only has to accept the existence of that Divine Creator. He shall also come to the insight he has to  stick to a moral code written in “their respective holy scriptures”. Their ultimate goals should than become to worship and to serve God as well as they can in the way the Bible, Torah or Q’ uran has told them.

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In Buddhism we also can find rites and also see that those followers of Buddha try to find enlightenment and escape the never-ending cycle of reincarnation, which is often considered to be a state suffering in the faith.

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Yet there is an obvious similarity between the Abrahamic religions and Buddhism; the concept of reaching a spiritual goal.

We would say this link remains there with Hinduism and in other polytheist believes where the people try to take care of their gods, giving them clothes and food.

If Vishnu is part of everything in existence, then there is a spiritual link between everything.

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Most religions have in common such spiritual awareness and goals, and people wanting to believe in something which can guide them through life, do not mind offering time of their life to show others that they want to belong to a group of people who believe in certain matters and want to use their body and spirit (soul) to take action for bringing those believes into life, by worshipping.

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We remember:

It is therefore not belief in God that separates moral organisations from religions, but spirituality is what makes an organisation a religion.

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Additional literature:

  1. Religions and Mainliners
  2. What is faith and is it the only thing required
  3. Faith
  4. Soul
  5. Do not forget the important sign of belief
  6. Living in faith
  7. Science, belief, denial and visibility 1
  8. Science, belief, denial and visibility 2
  9. Ian Barbour connecting science and religion
  10. Religion and spirituality
  11. Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro
  12. Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite
  13. Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ
  14. Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ
  15. Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit
  16. Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer
  17. Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News
  18. Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up
  19. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  20. Experiencing God
  21. The Supreme Being God of gods
  22. Cosmos creator and human destiny
  23. Only One God
  24. God is One
  25. Our relationship with God, Jesus and eachother
  26. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  27. Preparedness to change
  28. Being Religious and Spiritual 1 Immateriality and Spiritual experience
  29. Being Religious and Spiritual 2 Religiosity and spiritual life
  30. Being Religious and Spiritual 3 Philosophers, Avicennism and the spiritual
  31. Being Religious and Spiritual 5 Gnostic influences
  32. Being Religious and Spiritual 4 Philosophical, religious and spiritual people
  33. Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruit
  34. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
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  • The continuing decline of American religiosity (whyevolutionistrue.wordpress.com)
    Grant’s post reports 61 years of measuring “religiosity” (the degree of religious belief) in the US, using statistics he developed in a 2008 paper (reference and free download below). In that paper, Grant combined 14 indices of religiosity into one, and developed a way to not only present that statistic in a way comparable among years, but to check its reliability. (You can read about the “validation” of his measure, the Aggregate Religiosity Index [ARI] in the paper at the bottom.
  • Moving away from formal religion – toward a one-to-one relationship with God. (findingtheinnerway.com)
    You have a yearning to connect with something greater than yourself. So you fill that need with a hodgepodge of spiritually-related activities. You pray and/or meditate. You read spirituality books. You take yoga, engage in mindful exercise or go outdoors to find a spiritual connection with nature.
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    It’s all about staying “in tune with the rhythms of nature and the pulse of your life”. In following your own path, you discover, sometimes through trial and error, what activities work best for you. In time, you create a spiritual practice that is true to you, removing the veil of religion, until nothing separates you from God.
  • Religion vs Spirituality, Part One (mettahu.wordpress.com)
    A religion is an organized collection of beliefs, cultural practices and world views that codify the relationship between human beings and the spiritual entity commonly thought of as the Creator, regardless of what it is called in any particular language.  In the various world religions, “God” is known by many names in the various languages, even by people who practice or consider themselves members of the same religion.Each religion has a slightly different understanding of the Divine Being, and a different understanding of the relationship of humans to the Being they worship.  Religions provide a code of morality or code of conduct for their adherents.  They spell out what humans must do in
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    Part of the problem is that there are some who seem to feel that their own religion is the only one favored by God.  And yet these same people tend to ascribe to God the quality of omnipotence.  Wouldn’t it stand to reason that if God wanted only one religion, human beings would not have been able to create so many systems of belief?  And yet here we are, all 7 billion of us, with countless religions, some practiced worldwide, and others practiced by a few in local areas.
  • Science Vs. Religion: Beyond The Western Traditions (wnyc.org)
    In the United States, the debate between science and religion seems to be powered by a perpetual motion machine. The claims that Neil deGrasse Tyson’s inspired Cosmos series was anti-religious stands as the latest salvo in a long battle that generates lots heat but very little light. Having been in many of these debates, both formally and informally, I’m often struck by how narrow the discussion remains. That’s because often people don’t want to talk about science and religion; they really want to talk about science and their religion. It’s exactly in that first step that the conversation goes down hill for all sides.
  • Buddhism & Humanism: Two Sides of the Same Coin, Part 1 (appliedsentience.com)
    Buddhism and Humanism are two geographical sides of the same philosophical coin.  They’re twins with the same DNA, separated at birth, and brought up by different parents.  The same dish with spices added by different cultures.  Buddhism is Eastern Humanism and Humanism is Western Buddhism.
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    Buddhism and Humanism share a deep common core unique to them compared to other religions and worldviews.  To make this point I’ll start with Buddhism.  Damien Keown in his pioneering work relating Buddhist and Western ethics makes this point for Buddhism explicitly.
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    All religions and worldviews prize Reason and Compassion, of course.  However, all also have other ideals that they hold just as highly.  My point is that Buddhism and Humanism are unique in holding these virtues up and only these virtues up.  For instance, take the Abrahamic religions which put concepts like obedience, faith, and purity on the top of the list.  This inevitably creates conflicts which Buddhism and Humanism don’t have, like how faith often trumps reason, e.g. Galileo and Darwin, or obedience trumps compassion, e.g. OT genocides.
  • Spiritual Experiences Vital for Black American Women’s Mental Health (madinamerica.com)
    Spirituality and transcendental experiences are even more important than religion to the psychological well-being of many Black American women, according to a study in The Journal of Black Psychology. University of Illinois researchers noted that 84% of Black American women report that religion is very important to them; however, they hypothesized that previous studies had conflated spirituality and religion. “Where religiosity is typically defined in terms of participation in religious institutions and adherence to prescribed beliefs, spirituality is defined as one’s relationship with divinity and focuses primarily on subjective individual experiences of the transcendent,” wrote the researchers. They conducted surveys with 167 Black American women and found that experiences of the divine were the key contributing factors to mental health.
  • Does Record Number of Religious “Nones” Mean Decline of Religiosity? (religiondispatches.org)
    Judging by the media excitement over the latest poll illustrating continued growth in the number of people who answer “none” when asked with what religion they are affiliated, the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life seems to have pulled a similar trick for those interested in how religion is changing in America. “‘Nones’ On the Rise,” released on October 9 by Pew in affiliation with PBS’ Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly, gives the sense that we can see what’s really going on across the American religious landscape and understand it.
  • Owning our Health: In an emergency, do you respond or react? (blogs.vancouversun.com)
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    “The active and constructive religious response to Japan’s 3/11 catastrophe caught some by surprise and it has received fairly scant attention. But what happened may well stand as an important landmark. It shows what one leader calls the unconscious religiosity of the Japanese: an amorphous sense of being connected to something transcending the self, a gratitude to the ancestors, divine beings, and people in general. It is alive, he says, even within those who say that they have no religion.”Marshall concludes, “this religious story shows an important if often obscured face of Japan. It is part of Japan’s remarkable response to the disaster, part of the fortitude, community solidarity, and determination to rebuild that we must admire.”
  • Can you be too religious? | Giles Fraser (theguardian.com)
    There are Christians and Jews and Muslims and Hindus. No one practises religion, as such. And second, precisely because the word “religion” describes the common outward format through which these very different belief systems express themselves, it cannot describe each in its specificity. This is particularly tricky when it comes to Christianity, because at its heart is a figure who was thoroughly suspicious and condemnatory of religion.
  • Is Humanism a Religion? (appliedsentience.com)
    Religion may be impossible to define, whether we ask ourselves what the word means or what specific things count as “religious.”  In his classic text The Sociology of Religion, the famous sociologist Max Weber argued that “Definition can be attempted, if at all, only at the conclusion of the study” of religion.  However, as Nicholas Wade points out, and does in his own book, The Faith Instinct, Weber never defines religion – even at the end!

 

thoughtofvg

My teacher for Philosphy and ethics recently asked me to do some extra essays and background reading after i didn’t quite get the grade i was expecting from a recent exam.  I thought I might share a very short essay i have just done, as its quite an interesting topic. Before you carry on, this is my opinion on the matter and is open to dispute.

How do you define religion?

It is certainly difficult to explain what exactly the definition of religion is. If one attempts to describe it in terms of belief in God, Buddhism wouldn’t be considered a religion and comparatively, Any organisation or collective group would be labelled a religion if the definition of  “a group in which all members have  similar moral beliefs and goals” were used.  A more accurate definition would perhaps be found by comparing the world religions and by discussing what…

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Not to speak is to speak

The reason why we want or are not afraid to speak on this website, and give our thoughts on many ideas, even when necessary, sometimes on political ones.


“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

“Salvation is free, but discipleship will cost you your life.”

“Whenever Christ calls us, His call leads us to death.”

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“The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.”

“It is very easy to overestimate the importance of our own achievements in comparison with what we owe others.”

“One act of obedience is better than one hundred sermons.”

“Only he who believes is obedient and only he who is obedient believes.”



Dietrich Bonhoeffer, German Lutheran pastor, theologian, writer and poet, hanged by the Nazis two weeks before his camp was liberated for his involvement in the Abwehr plot to kill Hitler. He refused the opportunity to escape in order to protect others from retaliation. (rw)

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The ultimate test of a m...

Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” (Photo credit: elycefeliz)

 

  • Review: Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas (veritasdomain.wordpress.com)
    Bonhoeffer was indeed among the most interesting theologian of the twentieth century and his experience with so many countries while also being a leader of the Confessional church inside Nazi Germany put him at a whole different level beyond mere academic contribution.
  • Day 82: Dietrich Bonhoeffer (February 4, 1906 – April 9, 1945) (civildisobedience100.wordpress.com)
    Apart from his theological writings, Bonhoeffer became known for his staunch resistance to the Nazi dictatorship. He strongly opposed Hitler’s euthanasia program and genocidal persecution of the Jews. He was also involved in plans by members of the Abwehr (the German Military Intelligence Office) to assassinate Adolf Hitler.
  • Book Review: Interpreting Bonhoeffer (diglotting.com)
    How could the church support the anti-semitic propaganda, cast out Jewish-Christians from churches, and support the Nazi’s clear war-policy of aggressive offense? These are great questions that can not, and should not, be swept under the carpet of church history with an “oops”. Robert Ericksen’s essay also discusses similar topics, though with more of a focus on Bonhoeffer.
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    Something Hockenos points out is how many leaders of the German Evangelical Church (post-1945) considered Bonhoeffer’s willingness to engage in a plot to overthrow Hitler should make him be viewed as a traitor rather than a martyr! I know there is some debate over what exactly was Bonhoeffer’s role in the resistance, but assuming that he was directly (rather than indirectly) involved in the planning of an assassination attempt on Hitler’s life (and that he vocally supported the use of such violence to take out Hitler), I can see how that would make one question whether Bonhoeffer was standing on solid theological ground, but to go the next step and say that his actions meant he was only a national traitor and not a Christian martyr seems quite bizarre to me! But, alas, it appears the Confessing Church was not completely divorced from nationalism as it should have been.
  • Unbowed: (brothersjuddblog.com)
    Hans soon brought on board Bonhoeffer, who was to use his foreign contacts to gather intelligence for the resistance. Together they coordinated a daring rescue operation–brilliantly conceived by Dohnanyi–that allowed more than a dozen Jewish refugees to escape to Switzerland using false papers. Bonhoeffer called on Swiss friends, including Karl Barth, to help secure their passage.

    It wasn’t long, however, before the Gestapo had the pair in its sights, as more and more evidence linked them to the rescue operation and multiple failed attempts on Hitler’s life. After they were arrested in early April 1943, their resistance took another form: withstanding isolation and harsh interrogations and refusing to name names. Both men found sustenance in their Bibles. And their families provided indispensable support, sending letters and packages with hidden messages that helped them coordinate their responses to questioning. Unbowed to the last, they were finally hanged in April 1945.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer – German Lutheran pastor, theologian, dissident anti-Nazi (deadcitizensrightssociety.wordpress.com)
    +Dietrich Bonhoeffer – German Lutheran pastor, theologian, dissident anti-Nazi
    “It is the fellowship of the Cross to experience the burden of the other. If one does not experience it, the fellowship he belongs to is not Christian. If any member refuses to bear that burden, he denies the law of Christ.”“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
  • Bonhoeffer the Assassin (iheartbarth.wordpress.com)
    here is newly published volume by Baker Academic that is worth checking out for those interested in the theology and life of Bonhoeffer and particularly how he steered the waters of his pacifist declarations (found most clearly in his 1937 Discipleship) and his involvement with the Abwehr‘s conspiracy to assassinate Hitler.
    +“Ethical Foundation for Resistance” – an Excerpt from Bonhoeffer the Assassin?
    Bonhoeffer gives us an “ethical foundation for resistance.” Almost immediately after Hitler assumed power, Bonhoeffer gave his radio address “The Führer and the Individual in the Younger Generation.” A few months later he wrote a prophetic essay, “The Church and the Jewish Question,” which was published in June. But even before these more obvious examples, Bonhoeffer was articulating an ethic for resistance. It was manifest in his life, his commitments, and his writings.
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    About the book: Bonhoeffer the Assassin?
  • 138) Cheap Grace (emailmeditations.wordpress.com)
    Cheap grace is the mortal enemy of our church.  Our struggle today is for costly grace.

         Cheap grace means grace as bargain-basement goods, cut-rate forgive­ness, cut-rate comfort, cut-rate sacraments; grace as the church’s inexhaustible pantry, from which it is doled out by careless hands without hesitation or limit.  It is grace without a price, without cost…

  • The Dietrich Bonhoeffer Story – podcast (songsofhope883.com)
    Today, Sunday 16th March on Songs of Hope, at 8:45 am we heard the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer.
  • Bonhoeffer – Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy (lindentreelibrary.wordpress.com)
    In Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy—A Righteous Gentile vs. the Third Reich, Metaxas presents the fullest accounting of Bonhoeffer’s heart-wrenching 1939 decision to leave the safe haven of America for Hitler’s Germany, and using extended excerpts from love letters and coded messages written to and from Bonhoeffer’s Cell 92, Metaxas tells for the first time the full story of Bonhoeffer’s passionate and tragic romance.Readers will discover fresh insights and revelations about his life-changing months at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and about his radical position on why Christians are obliged to stand up for the Jews. Metaxas also sheds new light on Bonhoeffer’s reaction to Kristallnacht, his involvement in the famous Valkyrie plot and in “Operation 7,” the effort to smuggle Jews into neutral Switzerland.

    Bonhoeffer gives witness to one man’s extraordinary faith and to the tortured fate of the nation he sought to deliver from the curse of Nazism. It brings the reader face to face with a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully—even to the point of death. Bonhoeffer is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.

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How long to wait before bringing religiousness and spirituality in practice

Praying people

Marc Minter thinks most churchgoers would fully acknowledge “Prayer is essential in the life of every Christian“.  Most churchgoers would fully acknowledge this as a reality, but some may be embarrassed to answer any questions regarding the frequency, intentionality, or purpose of their own prayers.  In public you would not find many Christians praying any more. The only ones you see on the streets, parking spaces, stations or airports, praying are Muslims. It looks like they are the only ones who are not afraid to pray in public.

Luke tells us that Jesus said people ought to “always pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1), but we do not seem to see many people pray and openly confess their love for God.

Responsible churchgoers

I would not agree with Marc Linter about the fact that most churchgoers would accept some responsibility for evangelism generally. Perhaps they might think there should be some evangelism, but nobody dares to take the steps to go out, except the Jehovah Witnesses and the Mormons, though these can be seen less than in the 1960ies and 1970ies.

I wonder where those Christians would like to take their tasks up, Jesus has given them. I must admit that for me it is also very frustrating to notice that also I can not get more Christadelphians to come out to preach or to join this internet magazine about spiritual and religious lifestyle. I wonder where those evangelists stay? Where are those Christians to take up their voice in the name of the Most High? Where are those willing to preach about the coming Kingdom of God? Even to find people who would like to help others to find ways to look at life and to understand the human way of thinking are difficult to find. Up to now I did not find any writer who presented himself or herself to come to write for Stepping Toes about the history of humankind and of philosophy or to shed a light on the archaeology or write about Christian history or to write about different religions. This are important subjects to know more and to create more understanding? But who wants to share his or her knowledge?

Requirement to participate in personal evangelism

I do agree with Marc Minter that personal evangelism and the clear requirement of every Christian to participate, would cause a bit of discomfort to say the least. Today many are afraid to give sight of their opinion or do not like that others have other ideas than they. Creating an internet magazine where the authors do accept that other writers may have other insights and are willing others also to show the different views, is not an easy choice. But we do believe in an open mind and are willing to admit we can not know everything. Lots of things are also untold in the Scriptures or are left open. We do believe the things we can not know for sure should not be a burden of faith, and can be interpreted à volonté. Who is going to decide it is this or that way? We just will have to wait until the end-times, to hear Jesus explaining everything and making all clear. We better trust him and wait for his return.

Vasily Perov's painting illustrates clandestin...

Vasily Perov’s painting illustrates clandestine meetings of Christians in pagan Kiev. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the mean time we should try to help each other to get insight. It is a matter of brotherly love. Prayer and evangelism should mark the lives of every Christian, and no less than Jesus Himself has commanded his followers thus. In the previous articles you could already see that Jesus provided examples of prayer (Luke 5:16; 6:12; 9:28; Matthew 19:13; John 11:41-42) You could also read that prayer is an intimate connection with an imminent Counsellor and Omnipotent Provider. From Scriptures we also got to know that we must ask guidance and knowledge. But in the examples is also given that we must pray we may have and give love. Part of this love is the sharing of knowledge and helping each other to come to the truth.

Regarding evangelism, Marc Minter writes:

Jesus commissions all who would follow him to “make disciples” of all people groups everywhere (Matthew 28:19).  While some may attempt to distinguish the group described by terms like believer and disciple, I find no reason at all in Scripture to do so.  In fact, the two appear to be synonymous when referring to one’s relationship to Christ (Acts 9:26; John 8:31).  Therefore, the commission given by Christ to all His followers at least includes evangelism.  Discipleship may refer to much more than conversion, but no one would rationally argue that it refers to less. {Jesus, Prayer & Evangelism}

Action of discipleship

Christians should be so much more aware that discipleship in Christ should really mean following the teachings of Christ Jesus. Not only being aware of the Commandments of Christ, but living according them. Knowing that Jesus is our mediator between God and man we should trust this barrister and follow his counsel. Jesus planted the seeds and wants us also to plant seeds in the knowledge that we also shall have to give them water.  We should water the world by spreading the Good News and by relating our live and the live of others to the World of God.

Christ followers may tell others of the good news, and rely upon God to give the growth; that is they rely upon the Spirit of God to transform the soul of sinners (John  3:3).  This then is where evangelism and prayer intersect, and again Christ affords both instruction and example. {Jesus, Prayer & Evangelism}

Unity and estimation of the value or worth of a person or thing

It is not because we may have different opinions, prevailing or popular feeling or view, about certain matters that there would not be unity in faith or unity in believe.  Jesus asked the Father to bring unity of belief in the truth of Christ’s person and work to all those that the Father gives the Son. When Jesus desired that the people God would draw and would give to him, he hoped God would listen to his wishes and bring all those in Christ to be with him where Jesus is, in order that they may behold his glory, which Jehovah God has given his son Jeshua, Jesus Christ the Messiah.

““father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am; so that they may see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.” (John 17:24 CJB)

We should know that it is God Who allows people to come to Him. We may help to get people to know God, but we shall not be able to make them fully accept the Most High. It will be up to them to make the choice and to follow the call from God. Are task is just one of helping Jesus and be an instrument in the Hands of God.

Doing yourself

We may not leave everything in the hands of others. In case we are calling ourselves Christian, we should show the world that we are followers of Christ. We can not leave it to wait, because we should know the end-times are near, and out of brotherly love we should like to have everybody be saved. Therefore we should now that Now is the right time to witness to someone. Postponement about preaching is something which is not in accordance with the commandments of Christ.

What does a Christian need to know before witnessing or evangelizing?  Must a Christian wait to witness to someone until he or she is burdened or compelled by some inward sensation?

asks Marc Minter, being aware that this question may be phrased in numerous ways and yet ask basically the same thing. He continues:

I think asking and answering three larger questions will help us answer these and others more definitively, as well as guide our understanding of evangelism or witnessing in general. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

Being religious and spiritual demands action of evangelion

Many may say they are religious and several people claim to be spiritual. But of those who are religious and spirituality minded are willing to find the real True Creator God? And of those who found God are willing to share their experiences and are willing to share their love for God and for God His creation?

Evangelism comes from the word evangel, which is a transliteration of the Greek word euangelion, meaning good message.  The message called good is that singularly wonderful message of how God promised and performed all that was necessary to save sinners in the person and work of Christ.  Therefore, evangelism is the activity of proclaiming or telling of that great message. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

But how many are seeing and knowing that great message? How many are prepared to awaken to that Good News and alert the world of the coming Kingdom of God? Only by bringing in practice the spreading of the Good News a person can show his or her full appreciation for that Marvellous Message of which the whole world should be conscious.

Willingness to attest

Evangelism is the willingness to attest euangelion, meaning good message. It is the willingness of telling of the Gospel (the good message of salvation through Christ). This telling should be our witnessing or testifying to the trustworthiness of that message which we do believe came a reality by the becoming flesh of the Word of God, about two millennia ago.

“The Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a God.” (The New Testament in An Improved Version)

“The Word was to His essence absolute deity” (Kenneth S. Wuest’s “The New Testament) and we should let It resound all over the world.

“In the beginning the Word having been and the Word having been unto God and God having been the Word he having been, in the beginning, unto God all through his hand became: and without him not even one being whatever became.” (Yah Chanan, John 1:1-3, Aramaic New Covenant;  ANCJ)

Jesus to look at as the fulfilment of God His Words and promises

Jesus coming into this world is the fulfilment of the words spoken by God, in the Garden of Eden, before Abraham existed. For ages God gave His Word to the world, but now His Word was presented by His own son to all people in the world.

Today everybody should receive the opportunity to hear words of Christ Jesus the Messiah who made the Words of God more understandable and known to all.

In which way are you willing to have that Word of God resound in the world?

We have heard Jesus his words and can listen to his parables, which should give us an understanding of the Work and Way of Thinking of The Supreme Being, the Only One God, our Father and the Father of Jesus Christ.

Deserters of the Faith of Jesus

Sculpture - head of Jesus Christ

Sculpture – head of Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Often I am amazed how quickly the so called “Newborn Christians” are deserting Him who called them by the grace of Christ, for a different gospel. Lots of worldly ideas became intermingled and many go looking by other religions to find their thing. Our believe in God the Father as the One who raised Jesus from the dead should make that we also believe that we will be able to look forward to such a moment that we shall be raised from the dead. This should make us so happy and so full of expectations that we should not be able to stay quiet about that Good News which is given to us by Jesus Christ and his apostles.

The apostle Paul had good reason to remind the Galatians of this. The resurrection was proof of God’s complete satisfaction with the work of Christ for our salvation. Apparently, the Galatians were not wholly satisfied with the Saviour‘s work, because they were trying to improve on it by adding their own efforts at law-keeping. Paul was called by the risen Christ, in contrast to the twelve apostles, who were called by the Lord Jesus during His earthly ministry. This calling of somebody who was not prepared to come to Jesus when he was alive, should also give us hope that we, who could not see Jesus, can be called and still follow Jesus. Like the apostle Paul became a worker for Jesus his message, we also can become workers and messengers of that Good News.

Like Paul was amazed that the Galatians should so suddenly surrender the truth of the gospel, and he solemnly labelled their action as deserting God for a false gospel, we also should let others know when they go astray. When people, after God called them, are putting themselves under the curse of the law we should try to help them to stay on the right track. It is our duty to help those around us. When we are prepared to help them and to give them advice, we bring our unconditional love for them in practice. We should try to bring people to accept the true gospel and than should take care that they would not abandon it for a different gospel which is not good news at all.

Coming forward independent of man

When we notice a perverted message, a mixture of grace and law, or teachings which are disturbing us because they want to distort the gospel of Christ, than we should come to witness, even when we do have to step on the toes of somebody. Therefore those who found the love of God, believe in the salvation by Christ, should come forward and let their voice bring the Good News all over the world.

We at the Belgian Ecclesia would love to give those who are willing to help spread the Good News, a place for their voice.
You too can became a co-author on this internet blog or internet lifestyle magazine. When you are willing to let others see the words that come not as such from you or any other man, but which you received through a revelation of יהושע Messiah, you could be the person to help with us spread the Good News.

In case you want to reveal God His Son in you, like we want to reveal Christ in us so that we together might bring him, the Good News, to the gentiles, to those who have not yet found the salvation of Christ. Like Paul demonstrated his independence of other men in connection with his gospel, we also do not have to have a worldly connection to one or the other denomination to be saved or to be a messenger in the name of Christ. He is it who should be our cornerstone, and not a specific organisation or church of the world. Our Church should be the Church of God under the guidance of our master teacher Jesus Christ.

And as such people may be surprised that we do dare to refer to different websites from totally different denominations. Some people let us already know that they are chocked that we mention writings from this or that denomination, or that we quote from people who are from opposing denominations. But we consider Jesus the head of the Church, and it is for him that we want to be instruments in the Hand of his Father, our only One God.

The Four Evangelists

The Four Evangelists (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After his conversion, Paul did not immediately confer with human leaders, nor did he go up to Jerusalem where the other apostles were. Instead, he went to Arabia, then returned again to Damascus. His determination to avoid Jerusalem was not out of disrespect for his fellow-apostles; it was rather because he had been commissioned by the risen lord himself and given a unique ministry to the Gentiles (Galatians 2:8). Hence his gospel and his service needed no human authorization. He was independent of man altogether.

We on this platform also want to be independent of a human organisation, though we do agree we need some human organisation and official statue. We do have to apply to the laws of Belgium, Europe and Internationally. As such we do take on a non-profit position and have a community on this earth. But God His Laws are the most high, and are the ones we want to follow in the first place, and we want also others to get to know them.
The authors on this site, who all write from their own vision and keep their own responsibility, are not paid for their work, nor are those working at the office in Belgium. Though any organisation has its legal obligations and has to find accommodation somewhere, that is ‘are connected’ to the world, because no matter what happens we still have to live in this world. We are thankful for the contribution of the Christadelphian Bible Mission to cover part of our many costs, like paperwork and printing material, postage, copyrights, internet costs, a.o..

Passing on the message

Like Paul has been the recipient of a message and he had also passed that message along to many others, we should be prepared to go out in the world like the early Christians did.  We now do have the modern means and can make use of the internet to speak of that message concerning Christ and his work that was ‘according to the Scriptures.’  The apostle Peter refers to the “good news” that was preached and received or believed, thus resulting in “the salvation of souls”.

“and you are receiving what your trust is aiming at, namely, your deliverance.” (1 Peter 1:9 CJB)

“it was revealed to them that their service when they spoke about these things was not for their own benefit, but for yours. and these same things have now been proclaimed to you by those who communicated the good news to you through the Ruach haKodesh sent from heaven. even angels long to look into these things!” (1 Peter 1:12 CJB)

“but the word of ADONAI lasts forever. moreover, this word is the good news which has been proclaimed to you.” (1 Peter 1:25 CJB)

Transmitter of the Gospel or good news

We are convinced that more than one person has to transmit the Gospel or good news. We are aware that our role of witnessing is to transmit or communicate the message which Jesus made so clear.

May we also say that:

Successful communication of the Gospel, then, is nothing more and certainly not less than accurate communication of the content of that pre-eminent message.  In other words, whether one believes the message upon hearing it has nothing whatever to do with the role of the evangelist. {Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?}

Goals to set forward

Looking at reactions we get in real life or by e-mails, there is no doubt that some perceive our ideas and goals as ridiculous, not feasible or too rigid. I do agree I may have set high goals, but as a believer in Christ Jesus, I am not ashamed to tackle this which might seem not practicable. Either just a handful may join efforts to bring the message of the Good News or some others would also see the importance of bringing the good News and would not mind joining hands with us, who might be idealistic and having the hope in something which is impossible for many.

Do you want to look with us at the chief goal of everything in life?

Privileged people

The Christian is privileged to participate in God’s work of glorifying Himself in the salvation of sinners.

Please, let me end with the words of Marc Minter in his article Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?:

Thanks be to God that He has given Christians any part to play at all!

So, evangelism is telling people of the message of Jesus Christ’s redeeming work, and the witness’s role is simply to transmit that message accurately and regularly.  The ultimate purpose of witnessing is to bring glory to God in an accurate proclamation of what He has done in revealing Himself through the Gospel.

Because these are true, it seems easy to answer the questions listed at the beginning.

Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing?  No!  

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Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

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Additional reading:

  1. יהוה , YHWH and Love: Four-letter words
  2. The radiance of God’s glory and the counsellor
  3. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love
  4. One mediator
  5. Salvation, trust and action in Jesus #3 as a Christian
  6. The Law of Christ: Law of Love
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  11. A call easy to understand
  12. Belief of the things that God has promised
  13. Would You Run?
  14. Breathing and growing with no heir
  15. Determine the drive
  16. Compassion and Discipline
  17. Unconditional love
  18. Unarmed truth and unconditional love
  19. The first on the list of the concerns of the saint
  20. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  21. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  22. The builder of the Kingdom
  23. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  24. The hands of God’s wrath
  25. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  26. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  27. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  28. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  29. Let me saw beliefseeds
  30. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  31. Bringing Good News into the world
  32. The Involvement of true discipleship
  33. Testify of the things heard
  34. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  35. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  36. Obstacles to effective evangelism
  37. A Voice to be heard
  38. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  39. Blogging for Jesus…
  40. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  41. Words to push and pull
  42. Good or bad preacher
  43. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  44. How should we preach?
  45. Breathing to teach
  46. Bringing Good News into the world
  47. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  48. Holland Week of billing
  49. Trying to get the youth inspired
  50. When discouraged facing opposition
  51. Messengers of Jesus will be hated to the end of time
  52. Who are you going to reach out to today
  53. Praise the God with His Name
  54. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  55. The Spirit of God brings love, hope and freedom
  56. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  57. Belonging to or being judged by
  58. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  59. Knowing where to go to
  60. United people under Christ
  61. Fellowship
  62. Discipleship way of life on the narrow way to everlasting life
  63. Pastorpreneur Warren
  64. Catholicism, Anabaptism and Crisis of Christianity
  65. Which Christians Actually Evangelize

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  • Renew (womenatthewellfbco.com)
    It feels so refreshing to start anew!  What better time to do that than the New Year?  Why is it that we crave renewal and how on Earth do we attain it?
    +
    I daily read the Bible and pray.  Each week, I participate in some form of ministry or corporate worship, or Bible study.  However, these activities can become routine, and lack vitality, lack enthusiasm, when I have been at them for awhile, or a long time.
  • 2014: Set a standard, early (jeremycainbiblestudies.wordpress.com)
    If you would just begin to set a standard early on this year spiritually in your prayer, bible study and reading, and service then you will find that when it comes November you’re not going to be wondering how did this year pass you by and you still feel no closer to God.  Think of the discipline and strength you would built up by the end of this year if you just begin right now, right this day, praying just one hour a day, every day.
  • Why I Am a Christian. (crawfordgarrett.wordpress.com)
    I have to admit that it’s not always the most simple and straightforward answer to give, because there are many reasons that have led to my faith in Christ.  However, I guess the first place to start is with my parents.  I am a Christian because of my parents.  There may be nothing remarkable about that, and often times I, or many other Christians, would not like to admit that truth.  I am a Christian because my parents are Christians, and that’s what they raised me to believe, just like Jesus was a Jew because His parents were Jews.
  • My Prayer for 2014 (planetsellas.wordpress.com)
    I don’t deserve anything from God. I have repeatedly broken his laws; I am a rebel.
    +
    Lord, I pray that you show me how I can spread your gospel and give honor and praise to your name. I want more people to know you and love you, Lord.  God, I really want to lead someone to Christ this year. A friend, a family member, or a complete stranger. I want to do this not so that I may boast or get any glory–kill the pride in me. No, Lord I want to do so that you may be glorified.
  • Living Out the Gospel in 2014 (craighamlin.wordpress.com)
    Whatever your resolutions are for 2014, I want to encourage you to make one overarching commitment for everyday in 2014: to live out the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the glory of God.The Gospel is the saving message that Jesus Christ died for your sin, He was buried and that He was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3-4). However, the Gospel goes far beyond that to the transformation of every area of life. The Gospel penetrates our attitudes, actions, and dictates the affairs of life. The Gospel is not just a message, it is the transforming power of Christ to make us more like Him. God’s grace working through faith and empowered by the Holy Spirit makes it possible to live for Christ. Therefore, God saves us to live for Him and shine as lights in a dark world. Our commitment everyday must be to live out the gospel for the glory of God.
  • Christ didn’t come to help us, He came to Include us (melwild.wordpress.com)
    a surprising few resonate so much to the more important fact that the Father’s plan was to substitute Christ for us and place us in Him. I think this is unfortunate.
  • Jesus Christ was an Anarchist (blacksupremacylovenunity.wordpress.com) > Jesus Christ was an Anarchist
    Jesus came along to lead his followers out of this ungodly Roman system, preaching an alternative form of government. He spoke of a jurisdiction outside of the Roman state, based on the perfect law of freedom, outside the tyranny of men who would rule over their brothers and neighbors. He unified the early Christian church in a system of charity, hope and respect for the rights of each other, requiring that each person love thy neighbor as thy self in a system of mutual, not governmental support.
    +
    Jesus was showing a way to untangle people from the captivity of the social contracts they had made with the state of Rome and Judea, and the tribute and obligations they had become snared by. He proclaimed to call no man “Father”, as they called their Roman benefactors, but stated that “thou Father art in heaven.” The perfect law of freedom indicated that man’s unalienable rights stemmed from God and nature, and not governments of men. This was a system of anarchy, by strict definition, without the complex system of tribute that led to the decadence and decline of society, and the corruptible force of the state to back it up.The early Christian church was not persecuted for their belief in a different God or a Kingdom in Heaven, but for their opting out of the mutual taxation system and seeking to live apart from the kings and overlords, the gods many, who demanded their tribute.
    +Today, most of us find ourselves under slothful tribute to an emperor and a system that is not for our benefit. We have coveted our neighbor’s goods in a vain pursuit of “free” health care, education, welfare, unemployment benefits, social security and government protection. We have traded our inalienable God-given rights through social contracts both implied and explicit. Our churches are not ordained by God, but are 501(c)(3) corporations granted status by the state.As we head into what is certainly going to be a volatile 2014, we are going to need to dig down deep and find that anarchist in all of us, with a little more loving thy neighbor as thy self to boot. Happy New Year!
  • Change Your Village (elderyvesjohnson.wordpress.com)
    This week you might meet someone new and probably see some old friends and acquaintances.  Do they know Who you belong to?  Do they know the wonderful life you now enjoy?  If so, are you sharing this great gift with them?
    +
    It’s true Christians need to be encouraged and challenged.  Yet, unbelievers will not be knocking down the church door to learn about Christ. It can happen but I don’t think it will on a large-scale.  Why would they want to learn about Christ if His followers won’t even talk to them?
    +
    You should follow Jesus’ words, not those belonging to naysayers and unbelievers. You have been strategically positioned in your family, circle of friends, neighborhood, job, school, etc., to show, teach and talk about the goodness of Christ to those individual.  They need to know about the opportunity for salvation.  Who will tell them?  If not you, then who?
  • Fanatic hindu who hated christians is an evidence of Jesus (pciniraj.wordpress.com)
    I never liked Christian missionaries. I used to speak against Christianity and was organising people near the temples against the evangelism activites.“But Lord Jesus mightly fighting for His children, if anybody persecuting Christians, for which I am a clear evidence”, now I am witnessing this every corner to corner by holding the Holy Bible in one hand and showing my terrific stomach to the public. “I was an enemy of Christians, but Jesus Christ loved me, made me alive and saved me from sin and death. Now I am His servant”. This is my testimony.
  • Pouring Into Others (comeawake.org)
    If you are a Christian, you are a disciple of Christ. You know Him, but what have you done to make Him known to others? And I’m not just talking about evangelism. I’m talking about how you can use your time, your energy and most importantly, your knowledge about who Christ is to help out a fellow brother or sister.The purpose of our lives is simply this: To know Christ, and to make Him known.

Looking for True Spirituality 8 Measuring Up

Coming to own spirituality

The inability to take one’s stated goals seriously is widely shared among the human race, as easily found among traditional religious believers and committed social justice workers as within the ranks of spiritual types.
How many Christians truly seek to follow Jesus’s teaching about wealth (shun it), retribution (“turn the other cheek”), or religious pride (definitely not for the Christian)?
How many social critics pursue their political goals with close-mindedness, arrogance, or careerism?

Many Christians like others are so consumed with living their own life of faith that they don’t have time left over to worry about other people’s failings.

creation spirituality

creation spirituality (Photo credit: lars hammar)

Modern spirituality tries to detach itself form conventional creeds, particularly willing to utilize a wide variety of traditional and non-traditional (e.g. psychotherapy, physically oriented hatha yoga) resources. It nevertheless faces the same struggles as serious people of any denomination. It will always be extremely difficult to discipline the mind, renounce addictive pleasures, care for strangers, accept disappointment, and be grateful when times are rough.  Whether we are motivated to do so because God commands us to, or because we just think it is the only way to a really good life, living this way will never come easy. And therefore the struggle to do so is something that “spiritual but not religious” types and the most orthodox of the faithful have in common.

File:Tahia.JPG

Getting carried away. – This Tahia is made of coloured papers flowers wattle and crock. It multiplies the beauty of image to a great extend. Such a decoration creates spiritual emotions in the hearts and mind of devotees in Car Festival. – Photo: Taraprasad Jena

We do have to avoid many common pitfalls by focusing on spiritual virtues of compassion and self-awareness, and not forgetting to look at the critically important goals of social change.
If compassion for others and willingness to ask oneself hard questions are part of what you are about, then spirituality  is something you can respect, for it is part of your life already. And if as a spiritual person you care about the fate of humans and the earth, political activism beckons as a vital spiritual practice.

Internal angst may not be the basic for our spiritualism. Though for many the quest for our being, the reason and why of our person shall be a good reason to become looking for more and to dig deep in to the grounds of spirituality. Looking for the reasons of this universe you may find that to deny God is to debase one’s own mind and dehumanize the whole person.

The world should know that it are not the ones who fear Jehovah as the Only One God that are fools. Those who do not believe in God bilious and bloated may laugh and say “God is gone.” or “There is no God.” For the ones who believe they may be a danger because they, by many times hearing the same corrupt words and breathing the same poison gas, fouling the air; they might believe that those vile deeds of unbelievers are more successful than the good deeds of Christians.

The spiritual minded, accepting the deeds of Jesus Christ should know that the atheists their thistles are their cash crop on which Jehovah God looks down. He sticks his head out of heaven. He looks around. He’s looking for someone not stupid — one man, even, God-expectant, just one God-ready woman. The Creator looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. For a long time God came up empty and perhaps He still finds there is no-one who does good, not even one.

File:Bosch follower Christ's dispute with the doctors in the temple (Louvre).jpg

Christ’s dispute with the doctors in the temple. – Jesus among the Doctors, Follower of Hieronymus Bosch (circa 1450–1516)

We do have the choice to become one of “The ninety and nine who follow their fellow” or to become one of the few followers of Jesus Christ, the Messiah who many consider a joke.  See all those impostors and wonder if they don’t they know they can’t get away with this — Treating people like a fast-food meal over which they’re too busy to pray? Night is coming for them, and nightmares, for God takes the side of victims. Do you think you can mess with the dreams of the poor? You can’t, for God makes their dreams come true. When you are looking for God, willing to dig deep in your mind, meditating on His words you may be sure the True God is present in the company of the righteous and will be willing to come to you also. God is around, not only to save Israel, but also to save you.

14 The foolish* one says in his heart:“There is no Jehovah.”+Their actions are corrupt, and their dealings are detestable; No one is doing good.But Jehovah looks down from heaven on the sons of men To see whether anyone has insight, whether anyone is seeking Jehovah.They have all turned aside;+ They are all alike corrupt. No one is doing good, Not even one.  Do none of the wrongdoers understand? They devour my people as if they were eating bread. They do not call on Jehovah.  But they will be filled with great terror,+ For Jehovah is with the generation of the righteous.  You wrongdoers try to frustrate the plans of the lowly one, But Jehovah is his refuge.O that Israel’s salvation may come from Zion!+ When Jehovah gathers back his captive people, Let Jacob be joyful, let Israel rejoice. (Psalm 14)

The one true God who has revealed Himself in Scripture as a God of grace and forgiveness, who so loved the world that He gave His Son as an atonement for sin, so “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness,” according to 1 Peter 2:24, shall be there with those who are willing to follow the footsteps of the Nazarene and to take on the mind of Christ to become spiritual and following the Spirit of the Most High.

21 In fact, to this course you were called, because even Christ suffered for you,+ leaving a model for you to follow his steps closely.+ 22 He committed no sin,+ nor was deception found in his mouth.+ 23 When he was being insulted,*+ he did not insult* in return.+ When he was suffering,+ he did not threaten, but he entrusted himself to the One who judges+ righteously. 24 He himself bore our sins+ in his own body on the stake,*+ so that we might die to* sins and live to righteousness. And “by his wounds you were healed.”+ 25 For you were like sheep going astray,+ but now you have returned to the shepherd+ and overseer of your souls.* (1 Peter 2:21-25)

He graciously compels us to thank Him, and He himself should top the list of things we are thankful for.

Please do look around you and see how people bring into practice what they say they believe. Look at those who call themselves Christian and check if they are living according the commandments of Christ.

In the previous chapter we did ask:

Can you identify the people who are following in the footsteps of Christ and preaching the good news of the Kingdom around the world?

Everywhere in the world there are many people who are loving God so much that they are prepared to go out on the streets and to preach in His Name. Many are afraid of those who witness about the Creator God, whose Name should resound all over the world, and than the end would come. Are you recognising those who preach in the Name of Jehovah God and who would love to get to know as many people as possible Jehovah‘s name and His Kingdom?

Find people who study the Word of God and who are sharing the love of God with each other. Find people who are wiling to come together in the Name of the Only One True God, to worship Him according His rules and regulations and not according the many pagan rituals and human traditions.

Of course, there are other characteristics that identify a truly spiritual person, but how do you measure up to those already considered? To find out, ask yourself:

‘Do I regularly read God’s Word, the Bible, and reflect on what I read? Do I manifest the fruitage of the spirit in my life? Am I a man or a woman of prayer? Do I want to associate with the people who are carrying out the worldwide preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom?’

An honest self-examination may help you to determine the depth of your spirituality. We urge you to take the necessary steps now so that “life and peace” may be your lot.

8 Therefore, those in union with Christ Jesus have no condemnation. For the law of the spirit that gives life in union with Christ Jesus has set you free+ from the law of sin and of death. What the Law was incapable of doing+ because it was weak+ through the flesh, God did by sending his own Son+ in the likeness of sinful flesh+ and concerning sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the righteous requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us+ who walk, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit.+For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh,+ but those who live according to the spirit, on the things of the spirit.+For setting the mind on the flesh means death,+ but setting the mind on the spirit means life and peace;+because setting the mind on the flesh means enmity with God,+ for it is not in subjection to the law of God, nor, in fact, can it be. So those who are in harmony with the flesh cannot please God.—(Romans 8:1-6-8)

13 “Go in through the narrow gate,+ because broad is the gate and spacious is the road leading off into destruction, and many are going in through it; 14 whereas narrow is the gate and cramped the road leading off into life, and few are finding it.+ (Matthew 7:13, 14)

For this very reason, put forth all earnest effort+ to supply to your faith virtue,+ to your virtue knowledge,+ to your knowledge self-control, to your self-control+ endurance, to your endurance godly devotion,+ to your godly devotion brotherly affection, to your brotherly affection love.+ For if these things exist in you and overflow, they will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful*+ regarding the accurate knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For anyone lacking these things is blind, shutting his eyes to the light,*+ and has become forgetful of his cleansing from his sins+ of long ago. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling+ and choosing sure for yourselves, for if you keep on doing these things, you will by no means ever fail.+ 11 In fact, in this way you will be richly granted* entrance into the everlasting Kingdom+ of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.+ (2 Peter 1:5-11).

Let us all be aware or remember:

Do not be misled: God is not one to be mocked. For whatever a person is sowing, this he will also reap;+because the one sowing with a view to his flesh will reap corruption from his flesh, but the one sowing with a view to the spirit will reap everlasting life from the spirit.+ (Galatians 6:7, 8)

By our willingness to become spiritual and are preparedness to follow God His commandments we can free our mind and become true followers of Christ Jesus, helping each other by exhorting and edifying each other in the mind of Christ and by strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith even when we must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.

24 “Exert yourselves vigorously to get in through the narrow door,+ because many, I tell you, will seek to get in but will not be able. (Luke 13:24)

22 There they strengthened the disciples,*+ encouraging them to remain in the faith and saying: “We must enter into the Kingdom of God through many tribulations.”+ (Acts 14:22)

+

Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel: Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 7 Prediking van het goede nieuws

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Additional reading:

  1. Determine the drive
  2. Compassion and Discipline
  3. Digging in words, theories and artefacts
  4. Exceeding Great and Precious Promise
  5. The builder of the Kingdom
  6. Kingdom of God what will it be like
  7. Christ’s ethical teaching
  8. A Living Faith #3 Faith put into action
  9. A Living Faith #9 Our Manner of Life
  10. Some one or something to fear #7 Not afraid for Gods Name
  11. Rejoice even though bound to grieve
  12. Those who make peace should plant peace like a seed
  13. Looking forward to God’s faithfulness
  14. Bringing Good News into the world
  15. The Involvement of true discipleship
  16. Testify of the things heard
  17. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
  18. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  19. A Voice to be heard
  20. Creator and Blogger God 4 Expounding voice
  21. Blogging for Jesus…
  22. Preaching to an unbelieving world
  23. Words to push and pull
  24. Good or bad preacher
  25. Learn how to go out into the world and proclaim the Good News of the coming Kingdom
  26. How should we preach?
  27. Breathing and growing with no heir
  28. Breathing to teach
  29. Bringing Good News into the world
  30. Jehovah’s Witnesses not only group that preach the good news
  31. Holland Week of billing
  32. Trying to get the youth inspired
  33. When discouraged facing opposition
  34. Who are you going to reach out to today
  35. Praise the God with His Name
  36. Agape, a love to share with others from the Fruit of the Spirit
  37. Holiness and expression of worship coming from inside
  38. Belonging to or being judged by
  39. Not all will inherit the Kingdom
  40. Knowing where to go to
  41. United people under Christ

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  • How Does One Measure True Spiritual Satisfaction? (jordanbattiste.wordpress.com)religion
    I don’t think there are any monks praying in a hidden temple amongst the clouds, but I do know a little about the people who practice yoga and go to AA meetings and commit to altruism and humanitarian acts.
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    Can someone be spiritual and not believe in God? What about atheists and agnostics? Austin Cline from About wrote, “if spirituality really is best described as a highly personalized and privatized religious belief system, then the answer to the question is clearly “yes.” Atheism is not only compatible with the adoption of a public, organized religious belief system, it is also compatible with the adoption of a very personal and private religious faith.” Of all my speculation, this is the most satisfying answer yet. It’s objective and not riddled with bias – less truly is more.
  • I’m Confused About My Spiritual Beliefs. (thespiritualguru.wordpress.com)
    Every person is free to explore their Spirituality as they see fit. This just happens to agree with the Bible. As in Genesis God created man, and he gave man the power of Free Will. Man could choose for himself the path he would take.
    In many eastern traditions the concept of freewill is paramount. Buddhists believe that the choices we make not only affect our lives and Karma, but those around us as well. This is true, when you consider the interactions you have with others.
    What a person believes, or has faith in will determine their path in life. Faith is necessary for spiritually. It is belief in something you can’t explain. Some will say that if it can’t be proved logically it can’t exist. However humans are not the logical creatures we think we are.
    The Human mind has a logical and illogical side. The illogical is imagination, faith, belief, hope, emotion. None of which are logical. The logical side is the reasoning side, where we interact and classify what we see and touch. Where we solve problems and use our experience to keep from making the same mistakes. This logical side, however, can’t explain the other side.
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    Am I Crazy?
    A person will believe many things during their lives that have not been proven as 100% fact.
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    Whatever you choose to believe is OK. In the end your the one who has to decide to stand behind your convictions what ever they might be.
  • Short Sermons (attycortes.wordpress.com)
    a post of Peter Leithart on Pope Francis’ advice on preaching. > For Short Sermons
    Francis gives sound advice on preaching: The homily “is a distinctive genre, since it is preaching situated within the framework of a liturgical celebration; hence it should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture. A preacher may be able to hold the attention of his listeners for a whole hour, but in this case his words become more important than the celebration of faith. If the homily goes on too long, it will affect two characteristic elements of the liturgical celebration: its balance and its rhythm. When preaching takes place within the context of the liturgy, it is part of the offering made to the Father and a mediation of the grace which Christ pours out during the celebration. This context demands that preaching should guide the assembly, and the preacher, to a life-changing communion with Christ in the Eucharist.”

  • New Creation (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Paul prays first that we would be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding. Paul wants us to know what God’s will is for our lives as individuals and as a congregation. To get that knowledge we’ll need spiritual wisdom and understanding. This is not just book-learning about the Christian faith (although some of that will help), but rather a deeper sense of who we now are in Christ.
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    Paul prays that we would grow in holiness, or in his words, that we would walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.
  • ‘Be born in us today’ (bhkmparish.wordpress.com)
    Those with whom our Lord is pleased and in whom His peace rests are those who, on this joyous day, glorify and sing praise to God in their hearts
  • Do Preachers Know the Power of the Holy Spirit? (Martyn Lloyd-Jones) (chosenrebel.me)
    If a pastor always gets “expected” results, is he in danger of doing ministry apart from the power of the Spirit?
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    He may have been very ill, a thousand and one things may have happened to him, and he may go into the pulpit with fear and trembling, feeling that he hasn’t done his work; he’s got nothing. And it may be one of the most glorious services he has ever had the privilege of conducting. Why? Because he doesn’t control the power [within of the Holy Spirit]. It varies. And not only in preaching but in daily life and experience. It is the well of water that is within us and we don’t control it. It controls us.
  • Raising Children to be Witnesses, Not Just Spectators (astrugglingdad.wordpress.com)
    Raising my children with the eyes of faith, I have come to realize that this grace given to us comes with an even greater responsibility. I realize more and more that it is not enough to merely raise children who go through the motions of practicing their Catholic faith no matter how sincere or well-intentioned they may be. The task must be to nurture them to live their faith in a way that will engage and impact the growing faithlessness in the world.

  • Should a believer wait to have a “burden” before witnessing? (marcminter.wordpress.com)
    When is the right time to witness to someone?  What does a Christian need to know before witnessing or evangelizing?  Must a Christian wait to witness to someone until he or she is burdened or compelled by some inward sensation?  This question may be phrased in numerous ways and yet ask basically the same thing.  I think asking and answering three larger questions will help us answer these and others more definitively, as well as guide our understanding of evangelism or witnessing in general.
  • Meditation to Develop Witness Consciousness (rhondamills.wordpress.com)
    Regardless which style of meditation is practiced, the mistake that many people make is to think they are not good at meditating, or not being successful in the meditation because their mind wanders. Yes, your mind is going to wander. Coming back to the focus of the meditation – again and again as many times as needed – is part of the practice. Having to do that doesn’t mean you’ve failed; it means you are practicing.
  • Witnessing (hrobertsonblog.wordpress.com)
    It is precious and sacred to think on babies, and to remember my own special young motherhood and firsts in parenting. However, it is the magnitude of  a maturing relationship with Jesus Christ, my Savior that brings me to my knees. Unbelievable, that he would care for me a rebellious sinner. Care enough to die for me…is wonderful.
  • the last hour’s letter from the last apostle of the first twelve (kzlam36.wordpress.com)
    By this we know that we are in Him.  He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.
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    Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.
  • “On Meditation” – channelled spiritual message from The Circle of The Light of The Love Energy (earthmessagepress.com) discusses if we have to look in the quit to come to the light of creation.
  • In spite of insight (justmebeingcurious.com)

    One problem with written materials is that you only have whatever the author wrote down. If you have additional questions or don’t fully understand, you’re stuck. The attitude of many was, “I would prefer to learn from a disciple of Jesus or a disciple of a disciple than from a scroll.”

    And then comes The Main Man into the equation. Tapping the blackboard, whispering quietly, listening and nodding, laughing and rolling around on the floor … making it Fun! Some call it insight – I call it “in spite of insight”.

  • On Faith and Spirituality (zebrapotential.wordpress.com)
    I have felt for quite some time that god is a form of energy.  That palpable part of the universe for me that I feel everyday.  My personal energy is what I rely on the most.  It is my gauge for happy, competent or tired and needing to recharge.  I haven’t really developed this belief in god as energy.  Obvious to me is that spirituality is shared.  So, how will I share the energy given me and be receptive to that energy flowing back from others?
  • The Revisionaries (2012) (docdailyblog.wordpress.com)
    The Revisionaries is frightening because I can’t help but think about what a disadvantage Texan schoolchildren who are affected by these textbook changes will have when they get to college. Unless these Texan children attend a religious specific college they will be behind and a lot of the information they have [such as God being in the constitution] will be challenged and they will suffer as a result. At the least in college they will have to re-learn everything religion has touched in their educational career. I believe these board members’ decisions to make religion the priority will put the kids in Texas at a major disadvantage compared to the rest of the country.
  • Why study the Bible? (illustrationstoencourage.wordpress.com)
    Today there is more information available than ever before. But the big questions- questions about life, suffering and death still remain. Where can we find answers? What if the answers have been there all along, in the Bible.

Atheists, deists, and sleepers

Today many, who call themselves Christians, but spit on other Christians, are more considered about their material than their spiritual welfare. Lots of people have become only Christians by name; have become blind and deaf for the Gospel-message and have become “in the world” not much interested in God as the Most High Being. They do not take much time any more to read or to study the Bible, the Word of God given for us all to be our manual and guide for ever.

English: "John Wesley," by the Engli...

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Remember from this article and John Wesley his sermon “The Spirit of Bondage and Adoption.”

  1. A kind of peace by not fearing the pit, not knowing the danger + Having not enough understanding to fear
  2. No dread of God, because total ignorance of Him
  3. Different types of Christians and non-Christians, to be “natural” men and women, dead to the life of the Holy Spirit and unaware of God
  4. Today also many are spiritually dead and in need of supernatural intervention
  5. We appear to have largely abandoned the concern that men, women, and children stand under eternal judgment
  6. People clinging to religion because they don’t want to face the reality of their own demise
  7. Genuine prayer and true submission missing ingredients

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Please do find also to read:

  1. Casual Christians
  2. Something Most False Christians Have In Common
  3. Migrants to the West #7 Religions
  4. Finding and Understanding Words and Meanings
  5. Self-development, self-control, meditation, beliefs and spirituality
  6. Judeo-Christian values and liberty
  7. Patriarch Abraham, Muslims, Christians and the son of God
  8. An Ex-Muslim’s Open Letter
  9. Holidays, holy days and traditions
  10. Bloggers for Christ and Bloggers for Peace
  11. Mocking, Agitation and Religious Persecution
  12. Where is the edge
  13. Are Christians prepared to Rejoice in the Lord
  14. Jew referring to be religious or to be a people
  15. American atheists most religiously literate Americans
  16. Halloween custom of the nations
  17. Giving cogent reasons to young people why Christian faith is relevant to them
  18. Faith antithesis of rationality
  19. Being religious has benefits even in this life
  20. Grow strong in weakness
  21. Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) by Chris Tomlin

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  • Louie Gohmert: Atheists Should Encourage Worship To Protect The Country (huffingtonpost.com)
    If atheists want their country to be free and safe, they should encourage people to worship God, Texas Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert argued Thursday during a House floor speech.Gohmert, who has a penchant for tweaking people who do not believe in God, was delivering a speech about the lack of attention given to Christians who are persecuted around the world.Although he also declared that Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world, as an aside he argued that only nations that turned away from the Judeo-Christian god have ceased to exist.
  • The Strange Fire Rationalists (cwoznicki.com)
    In The Reasonableness of Christianity John Locke engages in a project of making the Christian religion palatable to modern sensibilities, so he argues that Christianity (at its core/at the kernel of truth) is very rational. Locke argues that you don’t need to believe all sorts of metaphysical/spiritual claims about Jesus in order to be called a Christian, all you need to do is confess that Jesus is the messiah, who was foretold in the Old Testament prophecies and that his mission was authenticated by miracles.
  • Atheists: Nobody Needs Christ at Christmas (secularnewsdaily.com)
    American Atheists launched a major billboard display on Tuesday that declares Christmas is better without the Christ. The huge 40′x40′ digital billboard is located in Times Square in Midtown Manhattan. Using motion graphics, the billboard proclaims, “Who needs Christ during Christmas?” A hand crosses out the word “Christ” and the word “NOBODY” appears. The display then says “Celebrate the true meaning of Xmas” and offers a series of cheery words: family, friends, charity, food, snow, and more.
  • Sarah Palin Says Atheists Want to ‘Abort Christ from Christmas’ (thedailybanter.com)
    As part of her book tour, Sarah Palin spoke yesterday at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
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    If you visit the official Monticello website, there’s a section about Jefferson’s religious beliefs and it’s quite clear that, as a deist, he didn’t believe in the divinity of Christ. Specifically, regarding “the reason for the season,” he wrote to John Adams in 1823, “[T]he day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”
  • Does Science Attack God? The Atheist Perspective (troutasher.wordpress.com)
    there are some Atheists who are so consumed with their own opinions and beliefs that they can’t consider anyone else’s view points or reasons they believe what they do.  So in some cases people do use science to attack God because of an unwillingness to understand another view point.  However, not every Atheist is out to disprove God’s existence.  Therefore another answer to the question “why does science attack God” is that it doesn’t.
  • Atheist group: Take back Christmas from Christians! (syndicatednewsservices.com)
    People might be better served, said Silverman and American Atheists PR director Dave Muscato, by returning the holiday to its pre-Christian, traditionally pagan roots.“Many so-called ‘Christmas’ traditions celebrated by Americans have nothing to do with Christianity. For example, the North Pole and Santa traditions come from Nordic and Germanic pagan traditions, and caroling, yule logs, mistletoe, holly wreaths all pre-date Christianity,” Muscato said.
  • A Response to Greg Stier’s Article “How to Share the Gospel With an Atheist” (theirishatheist.wordpress.com)
    If we want to engage someone in a religious debate, we’ll defend our own stance just as fiercely. If, as in most cases, we don’t care to be prostelytised to, we simply nod politely and tune it out.
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    Stier also specifies that Christians should find out whether the person is agnostic or atheist, completely oblivious to the fact that one can be both. Like me, for example. I reject every man-made concept of spirituality because it lacks compelling evidence and does great damage to the world. But I do not know what other powers and reality is in existence, and I have no way of knowing. I’m an agnostic atheist. An atheist who does not know. Not an atheist who says ‘There is nothing else out there.’ Hopefully that clears things up for Mr. Stier, if he were to ever stumble across this.
  • Are you an atheist…or something else? (fluidtheology.wordpress.com)
    What is strange to me is that the atheists I have met online do not act like atheists.  Now, I think most of them do actually reject the idea of any god but the things they focus on when they argue on blogs makes them look like they are not atheists at all and instead they are something else: anti-deists.  For example, they say they don’t believe in God but then constantly rail against the way he behaves. They say they don’t believe the Old Testament is true, but then they go on and on about the atrocities in it.
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    Anti-deists believe that God is not good. As one such anti-deist has said “Even if you were to prove to me that your God were real I would never worship him.  I would not even piss on him if he were on fire.”  They are opposed to God and to be opposed to something gives it some form of validity.
  • Stranger than a Manger- Atheist Christmas Displays (secularnewsdaily.com)
    The motto of the “out of the closet” campaign is: “Many faces make Enlightenment work.” Each billboard pictures and features a different local atheist or freethinker, using his or her own words. More than 55 participants are involved, since some of the billboards feature couples, friends or families.
  • None does not equal Atheist (religionron.wordpress.com)
    There are two misconceptions in Christianity today.  The first is that we were a Christian nation at one point where everyone was Christian.  Sorry to burst your bubble but if we are going to use modern definitions only 17% of those in America during the colonial times were members of a church.  That would make America over 80% none at founding.  So what are we at now 35% None?   So what happened why does this misconception exist?This happened because several denominations especially the Methodists and the Baptists had revivals in the frontier.  This helped get the percentage up to 35% throughout the country.  Then with the corporatization of American churches we got it up to over 70% in 1950.   So while there is a huge decline since 1950 its still bigger than it was even 90 years ago.   Why is this?  Its because many people were part of a church by coercion.   You had to be part of the church if you wanted to do anything.  You were expected to be in church on sunday.  It really wasn’t a voluntary religion.  Now its voluntary again and people get bent out of shape about the decline.

John Meunier

John Wesley writes about the person he describes as spiritually dead or asleep in his sermon “The Spirit of Bondage and Adoption.”

The darkness which covers him on every side, keeps him in a kind of peace; so far as peace can consist with the works of the devil, and with an earthly, devilish mind. He sees not that he stands on the edge of the pit, therefore he fears it not. He cannot tremble at the danger he does not know. He has not understanding enough to fear. Why is it that he is in no dread of God? Because he is totally ignorant of him: If not saying in his heart, “There is no God;” or, that “he sitteth on the circle of the heavens, and humbleth” not “himself to behold the things which are done on earth:” yet satisfying himself as well to all Epicurean…

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Where is the edge

The rim of the unknown

Are we living on the edge? How far do we want to go in our life?

Many of us are afraid to come into the unknown. Because of that they never come further. Because of the fear for what they do not know they shall never know.

Cover of "Unknown World (B&W)"

Cover of Unknown World (B&W)

The unknown, the do not see, may just be that place filled with wonder, curiosity, joy, gratitude, compassion and integrity. An extraordinary place that lives beyond our fears, beyond our wants and desires, a place filled with peace, a place silent but for the vibration of love. the Creator God provided it for us but we do have to be willing to go and see it, feel it and experience it.

To live in certainty

Lots of people prefer to live in the certainty and want to keep on to the traditions which they have kept from generation unto the next generation. They are afraid for that unknown world and do not understand their fear may just be the mask shielding us from fully experiencing life. We encounter many people who dare to ask us some things, but have to notice that mostly they consider the “what if”, “why so” and when we offer them different views they come up “what would my family say”, “what would others think”. And then they answer us “maybe” and “someday,” before going back into their old routine of the certainties they think they have with their ‘old thinking‘.

It shows how difficult it is for many people to encounter different ideas than they are used to and how more difficult it is to change the ideas which were brought into their minds by the years of denominational habituate. the things people are accustomed to is not easy to liberate from.

To follow people or to choose a path

Do you ever think about it that when you just follow the path everybody is following, you might perhaps having a smoke screen in your life? Did you ever thought that by continuing the way you were used to from childhood, enjoying the sphere in the community, you could perhaps been lying to yourself? How many people are not trying to have an unauthentic life filled with trying to look good and with the aim to please others?

When we look at the people around us, we can not ignore that we see a lots of people having a life filled with waiting. Waiting for the weekend, for a better life, for time to pass. A life longing for a made up past, or a mystical future that does not exist. A life devoid of passion and inspiration. A life absent from the present. A life hidden from the miracle of right now.

Using own personality

Though the Creator God, who created each person in His own image, has given each member of humankind the possibility to use their brains. To let the streams of knowledge come into the brains. The Supreme Being prepared man so that he can explore the world and be a unit in the universe.

Each individual has to go his or her own way and has to find out himself or herself what the world can offer to him or her. Each individual has to make it for himself or herself. They may want to go the easy or the difficult way. they might go beyond any thought of what is possible, fully experiencing and embracing all of life without fear. It is here on the edge that life transforms, that we see things we couldn’t see before. It is here that the world is no longer flat, or the sun orbits around the earth, or that we are the only sentient beings in this universe. It is here on the edge that we do not know the truth as the truth is only a context.

Squeezed between beliefs and the sceptic world

Also in our congregation we can find people who have doubts about our beliefs, like in so many denominations where people have to grow up and consider or question what they do want to believe. We all should question what we do believe and what we should believe. Each believer should have a moment where he or she goes ‘Living on the edge of certainty’.  Then they should come to  ‘Live on the edge of credibility’, addressing the challenge of defending their beliefs and preaching to other religious people and atheists. For sure we who believe in One God may be ‘Living on the edge of society‘, addressing the challenge of belonging to a Christian community with beliefs and values typically rejected by modern society. this should not frighten us and should not have us to let us run away or let us to hide for others.

We as Christians should value scepticism and should have no fear to meet people who do not believe in the One God Creator of heaven and earth. We should not mind facing ‘New Atheism’ and its critics and understand that atheism is not a guarantee of rational thinking. When we see how many people in this world are ‘Living on the edge of doubt’ we may consider the challenges to belief in the Bible.

Christadelphian writer Jonathan Burke

A book about living on the edge

The archaeology columnist for a theological journal, Jonathan Burke, a Bachelor of Arts with a Classics major (including a working knowledge of Greek and Latin), provides the background for his interest and knowledge in history related to Christianity, and a Masters of Information Management and Systems has trained him in research methodology and information verification. He had three theological books published in Australia. Two of his books are available on Lulu. As an expatriate Australian, brother Jonathan has been living in Taiwan since 2004. He is a regular volunteer worker with Taoshan Elementary School (桃山國小), Garden of Hope Foundation (勵馨基金會), Harmony Home (關愛之家), Zhong Yi Foundation (忠義基金會), Brightside (臺灣嚮光協會), Taiwan Sunshine, and Rangi (人跡協會). His latest publication brings an overview of “Living on the edge”.

In this new publication Jonathan Burke talks about upholding and defending the Christadelphian beliefs and values. Many may wonder if those beliefs are relevant to the modern world.  This book aims to provide that evidence which non-religious people hopefully will find convincing.

The book does address issues such as the relationship of science and Scripture, the age of the universe and the earth, and whether the flood was local or global. However, the author aims to minimize controversy. For example, since evolution is a highly divisive issue the book does not address it at all.

I have not read the book, but look forward to read some parts of it in the coming days. (Look at the coming publications on Stepping toes: The mythical conflict of science & Scripture (1+2); Were Gnostics the original Christians?; Is faith rational?; Bill Maher proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking; and Ian Plimer proves atheism does not guarantee rational thinking)

Today I wanted to open this matter of debate about “Living on the edge” because it looks like many people today do not dare any more to stick out their neck and to try out new things. Lots of people want to make sure that they can keep their job, and are afraid to question what happens at work and how it happens.

Taking a poor view

Today several Christians do think we are in the midst of a ‘war’ on Christians all around the world mostly being perpetrated by radical Muslims and mostly ignored. On the other hand others think that most Christians in the West aren’t really aware of how huge this resistance against Christians really is.

But we can resist those opposing us by letting them understand how we think and how we are willing to handle them and how we would like to find peace in the world. We can show them that they do not have to be afraid of real Christians who are like them, created in the image of God. Having elements of that Creator we, like them, cannot travel the path until we become the path itself. We should show them that we also are parts of this world willing to share it with others.

Respectful thoughts

The other believers should come to recognise that we, as believers in a Creator God, have respect for that Creation of the Supreme High Being. As followers of His son who loved his Father and loved the world, we also should love the Father and the world the Father allows us to live in. With the love of God should also come our love for others and also our happiness which we should be willing to share with others, believers but also to non- or unbelievers or better: different believers.

Seeing the beauty in the depths of unknown

The Fear of God

The Fear of God (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not mind going onto the edge of the cliff, which people push us to the boarder of it.  On that edge we should like to see the beauty of this world and find happiness which can rise from the depths of our soul. We should be able to find ourself smiling, smiling because we are a witness to the grace and beauty of the universe, to that of some greater power beyond ourself, beyond those superficial concerns that held us so tightly before.

We should not get blackened or fall out because of the fear for the bottomless abyss. The yawning chasm should not bring us willed with horror, but there we should encounter the challenge of the classroom of the universe where we can learn so much. It is here that we can see the beauty in every moment, that our concerns and frustrations in life are self-induced, illusions of suffering that we are clinging to in the midst of such wonder and beauty around us.

Standing on the edge of life, Showing happiness

We should not be cordoning off or stake out our beliefs nor our faith-life. Standing on the edge of life we should see the opening in the world where so many can live together in the best circumstances, in case they are willing to open their mind as well.

Those who love God and who are feeling and believing in the love of Christ Jesus, the Messiah, should call to action and bring, like Jesus asked them to do, the Good News, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. To bring that Good News we should ourselves become part of those Good Tidings and being identifiable as good news ourselves, spreading happiness.

To show more happiness we should get id off the fears which may still be there tempting us. Sometimes we are not fully aware of those fears, therefore we should first of all identify the fears in our life that are blocking us. We should get to see them, recognise them and go against them, looking at them for their insignificance.

Not postponing the action

Fear of the Unknown

Fear of the Unknown (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We should not tarry. Procrastination may be big fashion now, but a dilatory attitude may bring us nowhere. We should not show tameness for the matters that need action and to wipe out those things that stops us in life. Do not postpone and take action to step beyond these fears. Confront them head on. We should see where we are going, were the world is going, where the world wants to push us, where the borderlines are and how far we can go to the edge. Make sure you have the good ‘Foundation to go the distance’ and ‘Live on the edge’.

God of gods has given us this life. It is short. God also warns us that we should make the best out of it and not wait until it is to late. We do have to live each moment as if it is the last because it might be. For this reason Jesus has warned us more than ones, and given enough examples with his parables. We should learn from them and take them at heart. Living today according to the Will of God and preparing ourselves to be ready when the end of our life shall confront us with death. Remember when that moment shall be there it shall be to late to change course, to walk strong on the edge or to fall from the edge in the depths of nothingness.

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Continuation of: Preparedness to change

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Additional reading:

  1. A time for everything
  2. If you want to go far in life
  3. Live …
  4. Control and change
  5. A Living Faith #8 Change
  6. Only I can change my life
  7. Change
  8. Control your destiny or somebody else will
  9. Foundation to go the distance
  10. When discouraged facing opposition
  11. Suffering produces perseverance
  12. Compassion and Discipline
  13. If you have integrity
  14. Faith and trial
  15. Concerning Gospelfaith
  16. Faith is knowing there is an ocean because you have seen a brook.
  17. Everything that is done in the world is done by hope
  18. Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark
  19. Wondering
  20. The thought of losing rekindles the joy of having
  21. Joy is not in things, it is in us
  22. Joy: Foundation for a Positive Life
  23. Better loaves when the heart is joyous
  24. Happiness an inner state
  25. Happiness is like manna
  26. Be like a tree planted by streams of water
  27. Even in tough times remembering the blessings
  28. Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
  29. A man who cannot forgive others
  30. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands
  31. Be kinder than necessary
  32. Growth in character
  33. Be holy
  34. A tongue to speak slowly and well-considered
  35. Life in gratitude opens glory of God
  36. God should be your hope
  37. Give your tears to God
  38. We will all be changed
  39. Church sent into the world
  40. Bringing Good News
  41. Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation

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  • Mkmma… Week #5 (daw2621masterkey.wordpress.com)
    My goal in life is to have one 24 hour period where I didn’t fear something in my life. I’d love to meet and interview the person that doesn’t suffer from this universal disease … I don’t know if I would believe a word they said because I’ve never met anyone that lived without fear to some degree.To live without fear and hesitation would be an absolute paradise. What kind of lifestyle could you live? How much personal power would you possess if you could meet every challenge with total faith that you were up to the task? Now
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    Why doesn’t every person live on a higher plane of thinking and life condition? Where there is total belief there is no fear. Where there is light there is no darkness and vice versa. Where there is paralyzing fear there can be no belief. Where does this fear originate? Isn’t belief and fear total opposites? Isn’t poor self-esteem, self-confidence, self-image all cousins to ignorance and lack of belief?
  • 90 Days With Yeshua- Day 66: Reconciling the Banished Heart (soulfullheartblog.com)
    The heart has nothing to hide. It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
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    It’s only the mind conditioned by fear and scarcity that needs to hide certain motives and plans from another in order to win. The dis-integration is the disintegrity, and the source of most stress.
  • Beliefs,living outside your comfort zone (nerdvolution.wordpress.com)
    Have you ever noticed that you have a certain belief about how everything needs to be done? Like maybe how you should behave on a date, how fast you should go and stuff like that. Or even like how you should respond when something bad happens or someone wrongs you. It’s like that for me; I have certain beliefs wired in my brain that direct how I do everything. The weird part is, the beliefs never seem to match with reality. My actions, based on my beliefs usually produce the opposite reaction to what I expect.
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    I now seriously think growth is outside your comfort zone.
  • How to answer top 10 Atheist contentions (short version) (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    blind belief is prevalent in many cultures/religions/worldviews including atheism and not necessarily a feature of religions. In fact, the basis of atheism and secularism was founded upon blind belief. Secularism, for instance was born out of a clash between the Church and state in 18th century Europe, where any person who held a view contrary to religion was deemed heretic and was persecuted. The authority of the state was not to be questioned as it was granted by God. Therefore thinkers called for the scientific method of enquiry as the more rational method and used it to challenge the authority of the Church’s religion which they saw it as blind and based on imitation.
    This gave way to an emotional reaction causing 2 kinds of blind belief
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    What is most troubling for the atheists/agnostics/skeptics is that their views are purely naturalistic and empirical. So they imagine this infinite cause to resemble like us and then find it troubling how this cause is infinite. The case is that we cannot from our limited human mind rationalize how he exists in the infinite realm. The limited mind cannot understand the nature of the unlimited Cause. All we can know and reason is that this cause must be infinite, unlimited and independent.
  • The Quarter Life Crisis (courtneyheff.wordpress.com)
    A few years ago, I heard my older friends talk about their experience of a ‘quarter life crisis.’ Of course I understood the premise of it, but the expression seemed melodramatic and self-aggrandizing. I didn’t understand how anyone could face a life crisis at that age. A few weeks before my twentieth birthday, I realized that my friends weren’t being melodramatic, as I faced a substantial quarter life crisis of my own.
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    We’re told constantly that we can change our minds and change our careers many times throughout our lives. My only vision of the future when I think of career changes is an image of my seventeen-year-old self crying because I couldn’t even get a job at a grocery store. Most of us require an illusion of certainty in our lives, and don’t necessarily want to face the idea that we have no idea where we will be a year from now, let alone in a decade. If you’re one of those people who can face an abyss and jump right in, I envy and applaud you. Though I very much valuable spontaneity – you never know where you’ll find me on a given day
  • Fear (anemptyroomofmyown.wordpress.com)
    “Fear!”, says the old man / His voice grating the edge / Of the abyss of civilized / Polite, sincere insanity
  • Remembering Albert Camus and Longing for the Old Atheism (ekhava.com)
    as an unbeliever, Camus offers a powerful counter-example to the stridency and animus of the “new atheism” associated with Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and others. Indeed Camus makes us long for the days of the “old atheism” when religious people weren’t mocked for their so-called irrational beliefs; bullied by the charge that “religion poisons everything”; and told to step aside while secularism sweeps clean the religious debris from public life.
  • What Would You Say to the Religion Professor Who’s Had It With ‘Strident,’ ‘Bullying’ New Atheists? (patheos.com)
    When, post-9/11, atheists no longer felt forced to use only their inside voice, people of faith — and the media — were quick, almost gleeful, to attach the adjective “strident” to the noun “atheist,” as if the two are conjoined twins.
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    for close to a millennium, being found out as an atheist all too often meant persecution, imprisonment, torture, forced conversion, and death — thuggery perpetrated by men of the Church and the state alike, who all claimed to do God’s business. I’d say that kind of actual violence goes a damn sight farther than “bullying,” wouldn’t you? Are we supposed to brush that chapter aside, but believe that when academics like Harris and Dawkins retreat to their studies and tap away at their keyboards in scholarly fashion, they’re the real bullies?
  • Answering Top 10 Atheist contentions (intellectualrevival.wordpress.com)
    The article ‘Does the Belief in a God make sense?’ raised some interesting responses, both positive and negative. So I thought it would be of benefit to write on the common atheist arguments against the case of a Creator including those specific to the previous article. These answers are only my attempt at addressing questions which I have come to understand from more learned people.
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    science has a scope and should be used in its proper areas (medicine, technology, etc.), however it has limitations to its scope which makes it irrational to use for questions which are beyond the scientific method and it certainly has no place in answering or proving the existence of an unseen omnipotent Creator that is beyond time and space.
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    To atheists another ‘blind belief’ is that all religions including Islam enjoin ‘blind faith’ in their beliefs and teachings. There are several verses in various places in the Qur’an asking and urging man to reflect and contemplate his own existence and that in his surroundings.
  • When Your Purpose is Found in a Transcendent Creator (str.typepad.com)
    As an atheist, I was satisfied with the purpose I had created for my life. I found meaning in my work, my family, and my responsibilities as a father and husband. I also loved the idea that I was in charge of my purpose; that I was the one who got to decide what life was all about. It wasn’t until I became a Christian that I realized my ideas about purpose and meaning were far too small and limited.